FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – July 12, 2020

ORLANDO, FL – Today the Rainbow Democrats are announcing our first round of endorsements for the 2020 election cycle. After a careful review of statements, support, and Legislative records, the Caucus membership voted to endorse the following Democratic Legislators for re-election:

Representative Anna Eskamani (HD-47)

Representative Carlos Guillermo Smith (HD-49)

Senator Linda Stewart (SD-13)

Rainbow Democrats President Brandon Nelson issued the following statement on the Caucus’ endorsement:

“We are so proud to endorse Orange County’s incumbent State Representatives Anna Eskamani and Carlos Guillermo Smith, as well as the incumbent State Senator Linda Stewart. Representation matters. Having allies to our community in our corner matters. 

Despite decisive national victories such as the affirmation of marriage equality in the Supreme Court’s historic ruling in 2015 or to the most recent SCOTUS ruling affirming that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 affords workplace protections to LGBTQ workers, Floridians still face a lopsided state legislature hell-bent on keeping Florida in the past. Carlos Guillermo Smith made history in 2016 by being elected Florida’s first openly gay Latinx legislator. Since being elected, Rep. Smith has hit the ground running fighting for Floridians. When an employer denied coverage of the HIV prevention medication used for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for its employees, Carlos took them to task and got them to reverse course. 

It is no secret that Rep. Eskamani and Sen. Stewart are staunch allies to the LGBTQ+ community. In 2010, then-Commissioner Stewart helped push through an ordinance in Orange County that banned sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations. Anna Eskamani, first elected to the Florida legislature in 2018, filed as a freshman lawmaker a bill to repeal Florida’s Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that was passed by Florida voters in 2008 and has filed legislation to ban LGBTQ discrimination in any school that receives public funds. 

These are just a few examples of why the Rainbow Democrats have emphatically endorsed these candidates for re-election to the Florida legislature. We need legislators who support a statewide ban of the very harmful practice of conversion therapy, and to once and for all pass the Florida Competitive Workforce Act. LGBTQ Floridians need advocates who will unequivocally stand up for us in Tallahassee, and I cannot think of a more committed trio to LGBTQ equality than these 3 fierce legislators.”

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